• Nominee, Best Short Documentary Subject, The 88th Academy Awards 2016
• Winner, an Emmy Award
News and Program Specialty: Documentary -Topical at the 45th Annual Northern California Area Emmy® Awards
• Watch the film on Kanopy
• What they’re saying…
… The most idiosyncratic and moving documentary, rendered in black-and-white line drawing, is the agonizing story of Manny Babbitt […] As directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, Mr. Babbitt’s story is told by his brother Bill, who had to decide whether to cover for his brother or turn him in. It will break your heart.
New York Times
My personal favorite of these five shorts, Last Day of Freedom is a real outlier among not only the nominees this year, but also most nominees in this category’s history in being animated. […] On top of that, the Academy could hardly choose a more topical winner in the wake of the prominence of Black Lives Matter and our criminal justice system in the American political dialogue.
… The standout in the documentary category is the animated “Last Day of Freedom.” An African-American named Bill Babbitt is portrayed in simply drawn lines as he tells the story of his brother, Manny, who served in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart, only to be executed later on for murder after his PTSD went untreated. The film is not only timely in its example of both the military’s neglect of battle-worn soldiers and racial injustice (“Brother, these are good cops,” Bill had told Manny), but Bill is also a wonderful storyteller, keeping you engaged with his emotional and nearly poetic recollections. And then, well after he wins you over, additional facts revealed before the closing credits will break your heart.
I would put my money on this film at least as one of the five nominations to be announced on January 14. As far as I can see so far, it should be the winner.
IndieWIRE Sydneys’ Buzz
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• Last Day of Freedom won several SIMA awards:
Best Directors, Best Editing, and Stylistic Achievement Award:
Social Impact Media Award
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Creative Work Fund, Cal Humanities, Center for Cultural Innovation, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), Left Tilt Fund, UC Santa Cruz Art Research Institute, San Francisco Arts Commission, UCSC Committee on Research, Pacific Pioneer Fund, Embrey Family Foundation
• A ‘making of’ video
For a complete ‘behind-the-scene’ video and article, see this link to indieWIRE